We Didn't Want To Get Off the Ship!!!: Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by kateydid14

Norwegian Spirit 4
Member Since 2009
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We Didn't Want To Get Off the Ship!!!

Sail Date: February 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
This was our very 1st cruise so we were not sure what to expect. I admit to having very high expectations and have driven my husband crazy in the past by insisting that we leave a hotel or restaurant, etc.. if I did not like it.

Embarkation was a piece of cake-we arrived at the port around 12:45 and were in our cabin by 1:30. Our luggage was delivered just a couple of hours later. We had a balcony room, which we really enjoyed. It was directly under the Galaxy of the Stars so was a bit noisy between 10 pm and midnight but we are night owls so it did not bother us. Our cabin was in decent shape; there were signs of some minor problems, such as some rust on the balcony, a small rip in the sheets one night, and missing caulk in a few places in the shower stall. But the cabin felt clean and our stewards were awesome! They were both friendly and always smiling. We always had fresh towels and a clean bathroom. Once on board, I asked for a refrigerator, which was promptly brought More to our room.

The Spirit was pretty easy to get around. The public spaces were in tip-top shape. The photographers were a bit annoying but we just said no and they left us alone. The shows we saw were ok: the broadway review and Elements. We are not much into gambling; even if we had been, the Casino was SOOOO smoky that I wouldn't have stayed long (that was our major complaint about the trip). We enjoyed spending time in Champagne Charlies and the english pub (can't think of the name right now). There was a man playing acoustic guitar several nights in these bars that we really liked.

Lots of variety for breakfast and the food was pretty good. We enjoyed filling up our plates and then eating poolside in the mornings. Nice and quiet! We ate one night at Le Bistro, one night at Cagney's, and one night at La Tratorria. The rest of the nights we ate in Windows, except for one evening in the Garden room. The food was usually very nicely presented and tasted pretty good. Not the best food I've ever tasted but certainly better than most chain restaurants. We were worried about service since the Daily Service Charge covered the tips for the waitstaff but each waiter/waitress was polite and we were served our courses promptly and efficiently, even when we did not order wine or some other form of alcohol to drink. We did have one minor problem in the Blue Lagoon; my husband ordered a beer which was brought promptly but I ordered iced tea and our waitress made a face and sighed. She obviously did not like the idea of bringing me a drink that was "free" and did not have an automatic tip attached to it.

We enjoyed spending time outside on Decks 12, 7 and 13 on sea days; we could always find quiet spaces if we wanted. The waitstaff on decks 12 and 13 were great about bringing drinks; they were not at all pushy but always seemed to know when we were ready for more. We also liked the Internet access in the library and just sitting and relaxing in the Galaxy of the Stars.

I had my nails filled and a manicure done at the spa and was not especially impressed with the service; it was not up to the standards I am used to at home. We did not try any of the other spa services so cant say if this was just a one-time thing or if the spa services are usually so disappointing.

Overall, a very enjoyable vacation! We would definitely cruise with NCL again and would love to someday be on the Spirit again! Less

Published 03/31/10

Cabin review: BC11000 Balcony

Forward cabin 11000: right under the Galaxy of the Stars. It was somewhat noisy between 10 pm and midnight so if you're not a night owl, this may not be the cabin for you. We liked having passengers on only one side of us and there was not much foot traffic down our wing of the ship. Being so high up and so far forward, we worried about getting sea sick but this was not a problem for us. We're 1st time cruisers so we don;t really know if sea states of 3 and 4 are unusually calm but that could have accounted for the lack of seasickness I suppose!

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Port and Shore Excursions

We did the NCL excursion to Lamanai, the Mayan ruins. Since it was an all-day excursion, we were on the 1st tender to leave the boat. I thought it was well organized. It was about a 15 to 20 minute tender ride to the port. We were then ushered onto a motor coach bus for about an hour's drive, first through Belize city and then into the countryside. Next we got on a boat holding about 30 people and cruised up the New River. The boat ride lasted about 75 minutes long. Our guides were wonderful and pointed out all kinds of plants and animals, including crocodiles, howler monkeys, and "Jesus Christ" birds. While we enjoyed the plants and wildlife, our main focus was seeing the ruins. In our opinion, it would have been nice to have spent a bit more time at the ruins and a bit less time in the boat. But if we had had unlimited time, we definitely would have thoroughly enjoyed the boat ride up the river.

After lunch, which was pretty skimpy, we walked into the jungle to several Mayan ruins. They were quite impressive and awe-inspiring. It was the highlight of our trip! Our guide was terrific and our heads were spinning with all kinds of information about Mayan peoples and their civilization. The largest ruin was 112 feet high; many of the people in our excursion and the other group at the site climbed to the top. The view was amazing at the top; hubby was disappointed that he did not climb up but he does not like heights. It was a pretty steep climb and most people used the rope to climb up and down.

The ruins were not at all crowded and were very non-touristy (which we think is a good thing) although I suppose if you like being around tons of people, walking on paved (or at least even) pathways, and everything being picture perfect because it had all been excavated many decades ago, this is not the site for you!

We made it back to the Spirit with about 45 minutes to spare. We highly recommend this excursion!

The port area seemed to us to be filled with mainly somewhat cheap t-shirts and souvenirs. We were not impressed with it. Majahual was a very poor town and still pretty devastated by the hurricane several years ago. We went to Maya Chan (not through NCL). We had heard good things about it; there were only 13 guests there that day, which was awesome. We got to use the sea kayaks which we really enjoyed! Free drinks (what's not to like?). Although others had raved about the lunch, to us it was merely ok. All in all, a pretty good day in Costa Maya, even though the beach was filled with sea grass.

Read 1766 Costa Maya Reviews

Although a popular tourist destination, we liked Cozumel a lot. We swam with the dolphins at Dolphinarus, ate lunch at Margaritaville, walked around on our own and did a lot of shopping, and then took a taxi to a beach (Can't remember the name, maybe Playa Mia?). It was very crowded but a nice beach and swimming in the ocean was pleasant and refreshing. No annoying sea grass here! We would go back to Cozumel.

Read 5489 Cozumel Reviews

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Member Since 2009
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